BEIJING, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- China is ready to expand cooperation with Tonga in various fields within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Friday.
In a phone conversation with Tonga's King Tupou VI, Xi also said China will provide Tonga with economic and technological assistance without political strings attached.
China and Tonga have deepened political mutual trust and achieved fruitful exchanges and cooperation in various fields since the establishment of diplomatic ties, Xi said, adding that since the outbreak of COVID-19, the two countries have stood together through thick and thin and worked together to fight the pandemic.
China, he said, highly appreciates Tonga's firm adherence to the one-China policy.
Facing the complicated and combined impacts of global changes unseen in a century and the pandemic, the two countries need to strengthen solidarity, coordination and cooperation, lift their comprehensive strategic partnership to new levels, and jointly build a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said.
He stressed that China will continue to implement agritech cooperation projects and provide necessary assistance for Tonga's agricultural and fishery products to enter the Chinese market.
China welcomes Tongan enterprises to actively participate in the China International Import Expo and stands ready to continue to provide assistance within its capacity for Tonga's fight against the pandemic, Xi said.
Xi stressed that China has been actively carrying out win-win cooperation with Pacific Island countries, and is willing to share poverty reduction experience and deepen development cooperation with Tonga and other Pacific Island countries, and help Pacific Island countries better cope with major public health incidents and natural disasters.
China, he added, will set up a China-Pacific Island countries cooperation center of poverty reduction and development, and prepare for building a China-Pacific Island countries reserve of emergency supplies.
China understands the special concerns of small island developing states on climate change and will support Pacific Island countries in improving their capability to cope with climate change.
Tupou VI congratulated China on successfully hosting the National Games and wished the Beijing Winter Olympic Games a complete success.
He said his country is grateful for the important role Chinese medical and agritech experts have played in Tonga's fight against COVID-19 and efforts to ensure food security.
Tonga, he said, sticks to independence and self-reliance, steadfastly upholds the one-China policy, and will continue to firmly support China on issues concerning China's core interests.
He added that Tonga supports Pacific Island countries in strengthening ties with China and is ready to play a positive role in this regard. Enditem